CLEVELAND, Ohio –This year’s nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should be coming our way any day now.
Few artists have received a bigger push for induction from fans over the past year than Janet Jackson. There’s been a bit of a grass roots campaign going on (primarily on social media) to induct her.
The campaign has caught the attention of other artists like Questlove. But does that mean Jackson will get nominated? Let’s look at her resume:
Eligible since: 2007
Essential album(s): “Control” (1986), “Rhythm Nation 1814” (1989), “The Velvet Rope” (1997)
Essential songs: “What Have You Don’t for Me Lately,” “Control,” “Rhythm Nation,” “Love Will Never Do (Without You),” “That’s The Way Love Goes,” “All For You”
Pros: Few stars in any genre were bigger than Janet Jackson during the 1980s and the 1990s. Starting with “Control” in 1986, Jackson released five consecutive multi-platinum studio albums, a run that went into 2001. She also had multiple No.1 hits in three different decades.
During that time, Jackson’s output was more prolific than that of her brother Michael Jackson, and arguably of higher in quality than Madonna. Jackson has two albums listed on Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” Madonna has three. However, one of Madonna’s is a greatest hits compilation (“The Immaculate Collection”).
Putting sales aside, Jackson’s influence is two-fold. Along with her brother, she was one of the first pop artists to cross racial boundaries in the 1980s. During the early days of MTV, Jackson found mainstream success by releasing catchy songs and eye-popping videos that could not be ignored.
Later on in her career, Jackson paved the way the current trend of pop-saturated R&B for artists like Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Keri Hilson, Beyoncé and Christina Aguilera. You could make the case that Jackson’s every bit as influential as Donna Summer, an artist who was recently inducted.
Cons: Jackson’s culture impact hasn’t been quite as significant as artists she is often compared to like MJ and Madonna. Even when you put Jackson up against other iconic female artists that have entered the Rock Hall in recent years like Patti Smith, Blondie, The Ronettes, she doesn’t quite stack up in terms of influence. And while Jackson’s resume may be stronger than some other recent inductees, acts like Laura Nyro, Linda Ronstadt and Summer had to wait a long time.
The last thing working against Jackson may be her brother. She’s always been a bit overshadowed by the “King of Pop.” Michael was inducted in 2001. That was also the last year Janet had a top-10 hit. She’s been out of the spotlight for quite some time.